The Dress and More Color Optical Illusions


Source: Tumblr user swiked

If you haven’t already heard about #THEDRESS, then what are you doing reading this, because clearly you don’t look at the internet. Mass dress hysteria has overtaken Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, Buzzfeed, and every other corner of the internet. What color is it?

I originally saw white & gold. My boyfriend saw brown and purple (maybe he has an undiagnosed eye disease?). But the truth came out — the dress is BLUE AND BLACK.

I was firmly on Team #whiteandgold, but after reading a few scientists explain how your eyes work and interpret color, and seeing a few Photoshop artists manipulate the image, I’m a convert to Team #blackandblue.

Which side are you on in Dress-Gate?

If people are still arguing about the color of this dress over the weekend, take it one step further and blow their minds with some more color optical illusions.

Can’t get enough of these mind-boggling optical illusions? Check out a few books filled with them and save with Amazon promo codes!


Source: Akiyoshi Kitaoka

What color hearts do you see above? Probably green and blue. Get ready for it — They’re the SAME COLOR.

Using Photoshop, I extracted the color from the blue heart:


And here’s the color from the green heart:



Talking about the science of color and how your eyes and brain interpret the color can get pretty technical, but Japanese Professor Akiyoshi Kitaoka has dozens of these examples and explanations on his site.

Here are a few more optical illusions to tease your brain:

Checker Shadow Illusion


Source: Wikipedia

The squares marked A and B might look like a standard black and white checkerboard, but they’re actually the same color.

See here, with the squares connected.


Cornsweet Effect

Hold your finger horizontally across the middle of these two blocks and you’ll see the gray and white blocks are actually the same color.



Last one:

Stare at the cross in the center and leave a comment with what color dots you see.

I see PINK and GREEN.


Source: Distractify


28 replies on “The Dress and More Color Optical Illusions”

No way to get “black” from clearly gold or brown brocade. The lighter shade is obviously lavender or light bluish purple.

You people are messing with us saying anything black is on that dress.

Everyone’s phone or computer screen is different, so that could account for perceptual differences too.

Also, doesn’t matter original color. What you see is what’s there for YOU.

Hi Tim,
Isn’t it crazy the way each person can see things so differently? We also had several different opinions here and remain divided between blue and black and white and gold! :) But you’re right in saying that what each person sees is what’s there for them, so if they love the color of a white and gold or blue and black dress (whichever one they see!), that’s what counts!

Hi John,
How funny! But you know, each of us seeing different things helps us all see the whole picture when we get together, right? :)

retarded, its all a fake. the colors on the first set of squares is darker and where you put your finger, that is a shadow underneath, if they were the same why is there the white light upon it? sunlight on grey or black is not white. you may see some white rays but not as pictured above.

Hi Kathy,
Guess we see the same colors for the last one! We wonder what different colors someone might see…let’s hope they comment and tell us! :)

I see blank spots or gray like the background on top and gem on the bottom when the pink flashes off.

White and gold definitely. I see purple dots on the last one. The only one my eyes picked up on at all was the checker board.

Hi Morgana,

We’re still split on the dress over here! Isn’t it funny how differently our eyes see the same things? :)

Thanks so much for reading!

When I first looked at the dress it was white and gold. When I scrolled back up after going through them all it was black and blue.

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I think the dots are only pink. If you see green when they flash off, it’s just strobe effect. It’s like what happens after someone’s camera flashes in your face. You see green spots.

Also … #teamwhiteandgold. Although I can see a bluish hue in the “white”, there is no way I can make black out of that gold!

Hi Robynne,

How interesting, we’ve never heard that theory before but it makes a lot of sense! And welcome to #teamwhiteandgold! Thanks so much for reading. :)

It’s called afterburn. The light from the screen is still imprinted on the back of your eyes and are then inverted hence it appears green. Print Screen, paste in photoshop and hit invert colours and the pink circles become green. Same goes for that illusion where you stare at a picture for 30 seconds (to burn it in to your eyes) and look away to see a full colour image floating (the illusion normally uses a woman). It’s because when an inverted is inverted its the two negatives makes a positive calculation, but in colours.

Hi John,
Wow, thanks for sharing! Even zoomed in the colors also look different to us, but the blue heart on the right looks a little more green. Maybe it’s because the orange stripes go over the green heart, while the magenta stripes go over the blue heart?

Ok. I further zoomed, cropped and combined these two side by side. I change my mind. They are the same. Left is the green, right is the blue. But you see the image creator tricked us by adding this faint blue border to get out minds going the blue direction.

Ok that’s crazy! I came in this page… saw a #whiteandgold dress… went thru all the pics then the comments n i was reading n saw that someone else said they first saw white and gold then went back n saw black n blue which i thought yeah right?! Well i went back to the top of the page n the dress was blue and black! They’re tricking us somehow!

I’ve tried to trick my eyes to see the white and gold but I can’t see it. I do believe that others are seeing it that way… But I can only see blue and black…

For the last optical illusion effect, I see pink and green dots if I look at the cross in the center, but if I do not scroll down enough to see the cross, I see the pink dots appear and disappear. In other words, without the cross, the green never appears; the pink dots just alternate with the gray background.

If I place my finger on the cross, within a few moments I see only pink dots.
Then, if I take my finger away, I still see only pink dots. {The mind has removed the illusion.}

Pink and bright green dots ! Still can’t see the dress other than white and gold ! Have tried to have an opened mind…just can not see any other colors, what’s wrong with my eyes ??

On the last optical illusion, the one with the magenta dots, it was just you’re eyes adjusting to the sudden change in color. Because you can really can’t see the color magenta, it’s just the blank spot in between the colors blue and green. That’s why the color after the dot disappears seems more teal than green.

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